Plant-based protein plant maker unveils new partnership with Chinese technology giant on Wednesday Alibi (BABA)
, which will bring Beyond Burgers to supermarket shelves in mainland China for the first time.
Alibaba begins operations by unveiling the products at 50 of its Freshippo stores in Shanghai, the company’s futuristic supermarkets where customers use the app to order food and buy groceries. The connection marked Beyond Meat’s first placement in supermarkets in mainland China, where it was first introduced in April with great Starbucks connection.
Prior to that, the company’s goods were available in Hong Kong.
“We know that retail will be a crucial part of our success in China. We are pleased to mark this early milestone within a few months of entering the market,” CEO Ethan Brown said in a statement. “Retail expansion is a natural next step in building our market presence.”
Alibaba is the last longtime partner of Beyond, which has won in mainland China, in a huge market that is considered vital to the growth of the American company.
In his last earnings call in May, Brown said Beyond recently set up a website in Chinese, as well as accounts on local social media platforms like Tencent (TCEHY)
‘s WeChat, spread the word about your debut there.
Last month, Beyond said it would bring its products to some of the most popular fast food chains, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. This came just weeks after the company announced an agreement with Starbucks (SBUX)
to get his low-fat pasta, lasagna and wraps on the menu.
Beyond also has a new contract with local food distributor Sinodis, which will help the company supply restaurants and caterers in China, Brown says.
The competition is fierce. Although the trend of fake meat contractions is still taking shape in mainland China, Beyond is thriving against other popular brands, including fellow California Upstart Impossible Foods, which has indicated plans to launch it there.
Alibaba, for its part, wants to cash in on the growing phenomenon. “We have seen a growing interest in vegetable meat among our customers and look forward to offering more meat products in the future,” Jiayu Zhao, senior director and head of trade at Freshippo, Alibaba’s department that oversees new retail initiatives, said in a statement. .
In addition to being available in stores over cakes, Alibaba will start offering them on its app so anyone who wants to order something at home can deliver them.
The companies plan to expand their partnership in the fall, and from September they will procure burgers at dozens of other stores in Beijing and Hangzhou, they said.